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mwadswor Jun 17, 2010 5:12 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 4880291)

I'm a big fan of using more than paint to separate cycle tracks/bike lanes from the roadway used by cars, they need to be one way on each side of the road, though. I hate it when they put both directions on one side of the road, it's very unsafe no matter how well marked it is.

M II A II R II K Jun 22, 2010 7:25 PM

New bike program is sharing on two wheels


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Think of it as an I-GO for bikes. Chicago B-cycle will be the city's first bike-sharing system for residents when it launches in July with 100 bikes at six stations throughout Chicago. It's a program that was unveiled at the Bike to Work rally Friday at Daley Plaza. Mayor Daley has been interested in bike-sharing since he saw it in Paris in 2007. Loyola University has a similar program for its students. "The idea was to bring European-style bike-sharing to the United States. Bike-sharing is an alternative form of urban transportation," said Bob Burns, president of B-cycle.

B-cycle, a partnership of Humana, Trek Bicycle and ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky and owned and operated by Bike & Roll Chicago, launched Denver's citywide bike-sharing program with 500 bicycles on Earth Day in April. So far, there have been more than 18,000 rides through the program, Burns said.

Riders can sign up for a membership fee of $35 for 30 days, $45 for 60 days and $55 for 90 days. A card will be mailed to them and riders can stop by a bicycle kiosk at McCormick Place, Museum Campus, Buckingham Fountain, the Chicago Park District headquarters (541 N. Fairbanks Ct.) and two downtown locations yet to be announced.

Riders then swipe their membership cards to unlock a bike, which comes with a lock but no helmet. The first half hour is free and each additional half hour is $2.50. Also, riders who don't purchase a membership can use a credit card for a $10 daily membership pass and pick up a bike. Riders will be able to drop off the bicycle at any B-station as well as Navy Pier, North Avenue beach and Millennium Park, where Bike & Roll has rental stations.

M II A II R II K Jun 28, 2010 4:51 PM

scalziand Jun 28, 2010 6:54 PM

^Nice chart.

M II A II R II K Jun 29, 2010 4:07 PM

Where to ride those bikes?


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It's exciting to see that Denver's bike-sharing program is meeting with early praise and plenty of use. Count us among those hopeful that the cleverly named B-Cycle network of 400 bikes conveniently located at 42 stations around town leads to long-term benefits for both the city and users. But our enthusiasm is tempered by key challenges that the program and commuters face going forward. If the non-profit program staged with the cooperation of the city wishes to achieve its ambitious goals of reducing traffic congestion on Denver's core urban streets, far more attention and work need to be directed to providing the infrastructure that enables such a transformation.

Because while the attractive red bicycles now becoming a routine sight downtown are a nice fit with our city's active lifestyle, they also help draw attention to the lack of consistently reliable bike lanes along the primary streets and avenues riders share with automobiles. Though we are happy users of Denver's nearly 400 miles of bike paths, we mostly use them recreationally and don't risk commuting on our bikes. We aren't alone; statistics show that less than 2 percent of commuter miles comes in the form of bicycle traffic.

Nick Soloninka assembles a bike for the Denver B-cycle program at a warehouse in Aurora. (Kristin Morin, YourHub )

M II A II R II K Jul 2, 2010 6:13 PM

Bicycle Highways

June 30, 2010

By Tom Vanderbilt

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While there have been any number of bicycle-related entries in Nimble Cities, several readers have proposed an idea that can essentially be described as "bicycle highways." "I live in Chicago and take the L to work," wrote one, "but I'd rather ride my bike. A large problem with bicycling in cities is fear, generated by the fragility of a 5-pound bicycle when faced with a 2,000-pound car. To combat this fear, cities must develop or designate roadways specifically for bikes." Another argued that bicycle rental programs, while a good way to seed networks, were lacking: "Most people don't ride bicycles to work not because they're difficult to store/lock up but because they are at a serious disadvantage safety-wise. No bike helmet will protect you if an SUV driver on a cell phone accidentally broadsides you!"

- There is hardly a major city in the world that is not trying to get more people on bikes—ridership is up in cities ranging from Paris to New York—and city planners the world over envision ever greater numbers of people on bicycles in their long-term projections. The reasons are fairly obvious: Bicycles lessen congestion while improving the health of the citizenry. Cycling moreover has begun to seem a kind of indicator of overall urban health. A recent and not atypical survey of the world's 25 most livable cities (by Monocle magazine) was stacked with Copenhagen, Munich, Stockholm, and other cities that have invested heavily in cycling; Portland, Ore., was one of two U.S. entrants.

- But the key, one could argue, is infrastructure. While the school of so-called "vehicular cycling" argues that cycles should be treated as cars and share the roads, this philosophy seems to be the result of (primarily American) cyclists adapting by necessity to their harsh surroundings rather than the sound basis of a widespread transportation shift. In the world's top cycling cities, one finds not muscular riders harried and buffeted by passing cars, but all manner of people—young, old, carrying groceries, carrying kids—riding on networks that have been designed for them. In the Netherlands, for example, where no new road is built without a provision for cycles, cyclists ride on paths with a minimum width of 2.5 meters (which must be 1.5 meters from the road), get their own green lights, and find parking (if not always enough) at train stations and even bus stops.

- In Denmark, for example, the city of Copenhagen is extending its bicycling network outward into the suburbs, creating what the blog Copenhagenize calls "bicycle superhighways," for commutes of 10 kilometers or more, with everything from "green wave" lights (cycle 20 kilometers to hit all green) to standardized signage to bicycle service stations along the way. In London, Mayor Boris Johnson's own network of a dozen cycling "superhighways" (like football's Premiere League, they are sponsored by Barclays) is taking root; it "will provide cyclists with safe, direct, continuous, well marked and easily navigable routes along recognised commuter corridors."

M II A II R II K Jul 3, 2010 1:46 PM

Lessons from Copenhagen for Bicycling in the Bay Area

June 23, 2010

By Leah Shahum

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More than 1,000 bicycling leaders from nearly 60 countries are gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark to oooh and aaah, share and compare, and, above all else, challenge ourselves to step it up back home. For a dozen of us from the Bay Area, the Velo-City Global Conference is a chance to experience the much-praised Copenhagen bicycling environment and to bring home ideas and inspiration at a time when our own region could be on the cusp of awakening to the benefits of great bicycling cities. "In the Bay Area, people are starting to realize that this is the future, in terms of our development. And cycling is an integral part of that," says Corinne Winter, Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

In presentations from biking advocates from Europe, North America, South America, and Asia, it is clear that cities are now considered the most vital frontier for increasing and improving bicycling, particularly as more people move to urban areas. "Cycling is the most obvious way to encourage more mobility no matter which corner of the earth you come from," says Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard, Copenhagen's Mayor of the Technical and Environmental Administration, who spoke to the eager crowd. "Copenhagen is just a drop in the ocean…but the power of our example is not to be missed. Cities need to look beyond their national borders and raise the bar worldwide."

Copenhagen clearly takes its role seriously as a pioneering bicycling city and wants to serve as a model for the rest of us. The numbers are impressive: 37 percent of Copenhageners ride bicycles to work and school, though the city's leadership is not satisfied with this and aims to increase that to 50 percent by 2015. More than 350 kilometers of physically separated bikeways grace the city's streets, and plans are underway to expand the already-impressive bicycling network with more dedicated bike space and improved intersections.

More convincing than the statistics, though, is simply stepping outside the conference doors to see why Copenhagen is lauded as one of the best, if not the best, bicycling city in the world. The impressive number of people bicycling for transportation is immediately noticeable as a literal sea of people pedaling moves like a wave down major streets. Even more compelling than the high numbers of people bicycling here is the normalcy of it all. A huge number of families with small children are riding, elderly people are riding, well-dressed professionals are riding. This is a country where Nobel Laureates and the Crown Prince ride bicycles for transportation.

In an effort to better appreciate and recognize bicyclists, the City of Copenhagen recently added this railing at a busy intersection to allow cyclists to hold on while they wait for the light to change.

This new covered bike parking is specially designed to hold cargo bicycles, a growing segment of bikes in Copenhagen during the past five years. Today, 25 percent of all families with two children in Copenhagen own cargo bikes.

A great idea for Market Street in San Francisco?! This automated bicycle counter is positioned on one of Copenhagen's busiest bicycling roads and tracks the number of cyclists passing by (in the single direction) on a daily and annual basis. It shows that, as of 10:22a.m. on this sunny Monday morning, 2,572 people had biked by. This street regularly sees between 20,000 and 30,000 bicyclists a day.

M II A II R II K Jul 8, 2010 4:10 PM

Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Protect Bicyclists on Illinois Roadways

July 5, 2010

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CHICAGO – July 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will keep bicyclists safer on Illinois roads by making it illegal for automobile drivers to crowd bikers. Governor Quinn also signed legislation that will create a specialty license plate to educate the public about sharing the road with cyclists.

“These laws will help keep bicyclists safe and remind drivers to be alert for people on bikes,” said Governor Quinn. “We are strengthening laws to protect bicyclists and increasing safety education opportunities to help ensure that everyone is safe on Illinois’ roads.”

Senate Bill 2951, sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) and Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills), makes it illegal for drivers to crowd or threaten bicyclists by unnecessarily driving close to a cyclist.

The new law increases penalties for attempting to harm or threaten bicyclists. Under the law, drivers who intimidate cyclists with threats, crowding or throwing items will be subject to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

Video Link

M II A II R II K Jul 9, 2010 6:14 PM

Finally, Bike Branding Moves Beyond Hipster Ghetto

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The National Bicycling and Walking Study:


Americans are riding bikes more than ever, yet cycling is still held up as some sort of cultish hobby relegated to aggro dudes with messenger bags who live and die by their fixed gears.

So maybe it’s time for a new image, yeah? Colle+McVoy, a Minneapolis ad agency, has partnered with the coalition Bikes Belong to design People for Bikes, an ingenious bike branding campaign that presents a refreshingly sunny view of life on two wheels. The effort includes a Web site, posters, TV spots, products, and a push from the cycling king himself, Lance Armstrong, all in the name of growing a national front for promoting bike-friendly policies. “Each piece is meant to inspire people from all backgrounds and levels of ability to bike and join the movement to make biking easier and better,” a Colle+McVoy spokeswoman tells us in an email. Put another way: It’s advocacy gussied up as lifestyle branding. And it’s pretty damn clever.

M II A II R II K Jul 15, 2010 3:08 PM

Bike parking takes over car parking spaces

July 13th, 2010

By Matthew Blackett

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Toronto bike riders can celebrate a “first” today: the City has converted two car parking spots into parking for a minimum of 16 bikes. Here is a little background on how it happened. Last year after I returned from a month-long trip to Scandinavia — where I witnessed a variety of amazing bike infrastructure projects — I was determined to see if any of them could be implemented here in Toronto. One of the easiest things, I figured, was the conversion of a few car parking spots into bike parking. Montreal had done it a few years back and I saw other examples in cities like Vancouver, New York and Portland.

A year ago, there were six ring-and-post bike racks in front of Spacing’s office on Spadina that could hold up to 12 bikes, yet a survey conducted by our landlord, the Centre For Social Innovation, determined that 75% of tenants rode their bike to our building in the summer. That meant there was a demand for 150 bike parking spots near our building. While the landlord provided bike parking in our building for about 30 bikes, there was still a significant shortage of spots available on the sidewalk for a few blocks. Cyclists were parking to stop signs, support wires for light poles, the pipes of water mains, the scaffolding attached to our building for much of the summer, and any other thing you could fit a lock through.

I contacted Yvonne Bambrick at the Toronto Cyclists Union (a fellow tenant) and the City bike infrastructure folks and invited them to the building to survey the lack of bike parking. We discussed a variety of options and determined that our spot on Spadina was the perfect place to convert a few car parking spots into bike parking. I contacted the businesses in our building and next door (luckily, it was fully of urban planners, designers and architects) who wrote letters of support. Councillor Adam Vaughan and his staff loved the idea and went to bat for us and kept us in the loop on any developments.

M II A II R II K Jul 20, 2010 6:51 PM

Riding London's Bicycle Superhighways

July 20th, 2010

Sarah Rich

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While idealistic urbanists plot ways to turn 10-lane freeways into wilderness corridors, London is rolling out brand new superhighways. But these are not the pollution-spewing variety. A series of 5-foot-wide, bright blue bicycle lanes are opening across the city this summer in an effort to improve safety and efficiency for pedaling commuters.

A dozen cycling superhighway routes (initiated by the mayor but sponsored in name by Barclays) are slated to open in the next five years, eventually forming continuous spokes connecting to the center of London from all directions. With cities like Berlin and Amsterdam as models, London aspires to be a model of pedal-powered transport, adding not only the new lanes but also city-wide bike-sharing (a strategy that is so far a success in Denver) as well as more bike parking.

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M II A II R II K Jul 28, 2010 2:38 PM

Advocacy How To: Road Design Review

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Earlier this morning, I repeated my occasional admonition to show up at public meetings if you want bicycle facilities included in new roads. What I’ve never done, though, is explain what to do at those meetings. Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking (FABB) in Virginia have created this guide: the “Guide for Reviewing Public Road Design and Bicycling Accommodations.”

I’ll write more later on the importance of just showing up, but in the nutshell: they can’t hear you if you don’t show up. There have been a number of occasions when I have been the only person to show up at a public hearing. Caltrain puts as much emphasis on bike facilities as they do because cyclists often have such an overwhelming presence at Caltrain board meetings — we let the board members know we’re very interested in their business. Last month, the California Transportation Commission didn’t plan to award any money for purchasing the Santa Cruz Branch line for a proposed rail-trail project, but 22 bike advocates traveled to Sacramento on Amtrak to present their case, while two people signed up to speak against the proposal (and meekly declined to speak at their turn). The Commission went against staff recommendation to provide $10 million for the rail purchase. Showing up and pressing flesh with bureaucrats planners is no guarantee of success, but failure to show is a guarantee you will never be heard.

Planning, approving, and constructing road projects is a long process that presents many opportunities for bicycling advocates to provide input into the final outcome. FABB’s new guide outlines ways bicycling proponents can get involved in the process of designing, approving, building, and retrofitting roads to ensure that bicycling accommodations are integrated into the plans where needed. Although geared for Virginia, many of the ideas contained in the report could be applied to other locations as well. The 32-page booklet covers the basics of understanding engineering plans and also outlines various roadway features (such as intersections, roundabouts, wide curb lanes, and bike lanes) that could be shown in the plans. Design standards and guidelines, design and safety issues, and a checklist for each of these features help advocates review and comment on road design plans.

After you look at a few of these plans, a few thing start to pop out at you. For example, what’s wrong with the shared lane (“sharrow”) marking that’s used as an illustration in the Guide? Page 14 of this new bike planning guide advises us to refer to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for guidance on sharrow use. The MUTCD is the Holy Bible used by engineers for all “traffic control devices” — signs, lights, pavement markings, reflective coatings, and even safety cones. Each state has their own official version that they’ve adopted (and which you should refer to in your bike advocacy efforts), but for simplicity we’ll refer here to the latest Federal edition. Small town planners and engineers can’t really be expected to know the minutiae of every tiny little detail of what’s available in the MUTCD and other Federal, State, and local laws, which is why they need input from you and I.

“Traffic Controls for Bicycle Facilities” are covered in the MUTCD Section 9; shared lane markings are described in Section 9C§7 which reads, in part:

If used on a street without on-street parking … the centers of the Shared Lane Markings should be at least 4 feet from the face of the curb.

The sharrow shown in the illustration is only about 30 inches at the very most from the curb, and reinforces the discriminatory gutter bunny bike positioning that many motorist-minded people have. For it to be used for its intended purpose of “[alerting] road users of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy”, that marking should be at least another foot or two out into the lane.

zilfondel Jul 28, 2010 9:47 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 4898521)
Bicycle Highways

...fragility of a 5-pound bicycle when faced with a 2,000-pound car.

I'd love to have a 5-pound bicycle.

But seriously, you can die in a wreck whether you're in a car or on a bike. I've seen people get hit by a car going 20 and survive, just keep them cars to obey the speed limit in urban areas, would help tremendously.

M II A II R II K Jul 29, 2010 6:42 PM

Life in the Bike Lane: New York City

July 28, 2010

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As WNYC highlighted on Thursday, cycling is the fastest-growing way to get around New York City. In 2008, the city added a record 90 miles of bike lanes — bringing the total to 420 miles — and passed the Bicycle Access to Office Buildings Law, which grants tenants of commercial office buildings the right to securely park their bikes in or close to their workplace.

These policies — part of the Bloomberg administration’s PlaNYC 2030 to make the city more sustainable – contributed to an unprecedented 35 percent one-year increase in bike commuting from 2008 to 2009.

Still, only 1 percent of New Yorkers bike to work. So what’s life like for this small slice of the Big Apple? What motivates, irks and inspires them?

Now you can find out (if you want to know). WNYC has produced a video documenting life in the bike lane in NYC. One good tip from a reasonable rider: “We all have to co-exist; we all have to follow the rules; and we all have to walk, bike, and drive defensively.”

Video Link

M II A II R II K Jul 30, 2010 7:09 PM

Bike Share: A slice of Paris in Chicago

July 30, 2010

Mary Schmich

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It's not every day that you can stroll down a Chicago sidewalk and think you've been magically zapped to Paris. But I was cruising down Ohio Street Thursday when — zut alors! There was a row of rental-bike docks that looked a lot like Paris' famous Velib' stations. Half a dozen guys were fiddling with the machines, making sure everything would work on Friday when Chicago debuts its first city bike-share program. There are only 100 bikes and only six locations, but if this experiment works, bike-sharing could become a Chicago way of life. To find out more, I called Josh Squire. He's the founder of Bike and Roll, which is managing the program.

Q. How did this idea evolve?

A. We started thinking about bike share in 1998. It took some time until the technology caught up. The city reached out to us to do some sort of pilot program. We were able to obtain a small-business loan to start and hopefully build a network of stations throughout the Chicagoland area.

Q. You've been in the bike-rental business a long time?

A. Since 1993. I started in college because I wanted to hang out at the beach. I went to the park district and asked them to rent bikes. They said no. I went back and said, "You didn't give me a reason why." They let me do it as a pilot program at Oak Street Beach.

Q. How much does this cost the city?

A. It doesn't cost the city anything. Since we put a couple of stations on park district space, if we get sponsorships, then the city will benefit.

Q. All the stations are near the downtown lakefront. Is this mostly for tourists?

A. Our idea is to demonstrate that this is viable for tourists, locals and area workers. As we grow we'll venture into neighborhoods and transit centers.

Q. It's expensive — $10 an hour if you don't have a membership.

A. I don't think it's expensive if you compare it to a CTA monthly pass or even I-GO or Zipcar. And how much does it cost you to park a car in the city?

A pass costs $35 a month, $25 for students. With the pass, the first hour of use is included. You have unlimited trips in that hour. If you want to keep it longer, it's an additional $2.50 per half hour, but we want to discourage that.

Dan Ioja, fleet manager for Bike and Roll, removes a rental bike from its dock at a B-cycle station on Ohio Street. (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune / July 28, 2010)

M II A II R II K Aug 2, 2010 1:43 AM

Left Out of Olympics, Wisconsin Roads Still Lure Cyclists

July 27, 2010


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Last October, the International Olympic Committee tossed out Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the first round, ultimately choosing Rio de Janeiro. For many a Chicagoan it was a crushing blow. But there was a collective gasp 150 miles to the northwest in Madison, Wis. When proposed cycling routes in Illinois failed to pass muster, event planners opted to move the cycling events to the hillier environs of southern Wisconsin’s Dane County, a growing cycling mecca.

Many in Madison saw the Olympics as a chance to make outsiders aware of what locals already knew: that there is a lot of great cycling there. Among the crestfallen was Robbie Ventura, a former professional cyclist who was part of Lance Armstrong’s United States Postal Service team for four years. Ventura lives in Chicago, where he runs an endurance coaching company, and was tapped to head the effort to put together the cycling routes for Chicago’s Olympic bid proposal.

mwadswor Aug 5, 2010 10:56 PM


Bike agenda spins cities toward U.N. control, Maes warns

By Christopher N. Osher
The Denver Post
POSTED: 08/04/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are "converting Denver into a United Nations community."

"This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed," Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.

Polls show that Maes, a Tea Party favorite, has pulled ahead of former Congressman Scott McInnis, the early frontrunner in the Aug. 10 primary for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Maes acknowledged that some might find his theories "kooky," but he said there are valid reasons to be worried.

"At first, I thought, 'Gosh, public transportation, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty," Maes said.
Break out the tin foil hats!

M II A II R II K Aug 6, 2010 3:36 PM

The age of the bicycle

1 August 2010

By Susie Mesure

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Britain is on the brink of a freewheeling revolution. A bicycle boom is under way across the UK, with more and more people rediscovering the joy of two wheels rather than four. Sales of bikes have soared and cyclists are travelling further, according to latest figures. The rise of pedal power is poised to accelerate, as cities from Bristol to York invest millions of pounds in new cycling infrastructure. New government research reveals that the number of miles cycled on average last year leapt 10 per cent, while the average distance rose 17 per cent. While bike sales have gone up by more than 25 per cent in the past three years, spending on new cars fell by 13 per cent in the same period, according to the National Travel Survey. The upward trend has been most marked in the south of England: 8 per cent of inner London residents and one in 25 workers in the South-east and South-west say they cycle to work, according to the survey, which interviewed around 20,000 people.

But it is not only commuters who are behind the increase. Organisers of sportive events such as the Forest of Dean Classic, held around Monmouth, or next month's Tour of Worcestershire, have reported record demand for places from amateur cycling enthusiasts. It took only seven minutes for 300 extra places for the 190km Verenti Dragon Ride, held in South Wales in June, to sell out, while 4,500 riders saddled up for the 130km Etape Caledonia in Perthshire in May, 50 per cent more than last year. Patrick Trainor, who promotes sports rides for organisations such as Wheels in Wheels, said cyclists are entering events to test themselves without racing. "Sportives make riding in different places attractive as the route is marked out for you and nutrition and back-up are taken care of," he said. A host of smaller events, including the Independent's own inaugural London to Brighton Bike Ride on 11 September, have sprung up to cater for the increase in interest.

Today the centre of Manchester will be closed to vehicles for one of 13 Sky Rides taking place this year – eight more than last year. Ian Drake, the chief executive of British Cycling, which is supporting the Sky Rides, said: "Cycling is booming and we are seeing an unprecedented growth in the number of people cycling regularly, currently 1.88 million people cycle at least once a week." He added that Sky Rides had prompted more than 100,000 people to "dust off their bikes and explore their city on two wheels". The organisation is aiming to get a million more people cycling regularly by 2013 and said its membership had risen in the past two years to more than 32,000, compared with 22,000 in 2007.

M II A II R II K Aug 11, 2010 5:36 PM

The key to cycling safety? More cyclists

August 1, 2010

By Michelle Lalonde

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- As Montreal and other munipalities push ahead with new cycling routes and other measures to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation, will this mean more injuries and fatal crashes as the streets are invaded by commuters on two wheels?

- When the “État du Vélo 2010” report is published next spring, Vélo Québec expects the numbers to jump significantly. But even before that jump is tallied, Montreal had a higher per capita rate of cycling commuters than other major cities in Canada and the United States.

- Montreal has a way to go before it catches up to the year-round cycling commuter rate of Vancouver, which was at 2.8 per cent in 2006, but cold weather cycling has certainly increased in Montreal since the city started clearing snow from some cycling routes a couple of years ago.

- Those numbers would seem to imply that the higher the cycling rate in a city, the more deaths and injuries occur. In fact, research shows the opposite; that increased numbers of cyclists on the road actually results in fewer injuries and deaths. “The studies are showing that the more cyclists there are on the street, the safer they are,” said Dr. Patrick Morency, a public health and safety specialist with Montreal’s public health department.

- A 2003 study published in the Injury Prevention Journal by Peter Lyndon Jacobsen concluded: “A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking or bicycling if more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling.”

- Lessons from the Netherlands and Germany, showed that pedestrians and cyclists in the United States were much more likely to be killed or injured than were Dutch and German pedestrians and cyclists, both on a per-trip and on a per-kilometre basis, even though the European countries had far more cyclists on their streets.

Three cyclists were killed and three more were seriously hurt after a pickup truck plowed into a group of cyclists on Highway 112 in Rougemont in May. Photograph by: John Kenney, Gazette file photo

M II A II R II K Aug 13, 2010 12:09 AM

Cyclists, motorists alike should chill, obey laws

Aug. 12, 2010

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When you're driving somewhere in a hurry - and who isn't in a hurry these days? - having to slow down for a bicyclist can be as annoying as ...

As annoying as having to slow down to let a frail elderly person or a mother with a stroller cross the street.

As annoying as having to repeat something to a deaf grandfather.

As annoying as waiting in line at the movies or to get into a popular restaurant.

Yes, some things are annoying. But in a civilized community we take a deep breath, look at the big picture and cultivate some compassionate patience. So why, after articles in Monday's Observer about tension between bicyclists and motorists, were online comments at so venom-filled they had to be cut off? Why do bicyclists make so many motorists' blood boil?

We don't know. (Is it the spandex?) If we knew the answer, we'd be out on the consultant circuit making millions selling it to people trying to tame the rage. Here's what we do know: Bicycles are legal on city streets and the state's roads. Bicycles have every right to share the pavement and to expect courteous treatment.

Jerks can be found behind the wheel, pedaling cycles, even in wheelchairs and on foot. You can be a jerk anywhere. So while that means motorists shouldn't honk at cyclists or swerve at them, it also means bicyclists have no more right to deliberately clog travel lanes than SUVs or tractor-trailers do.

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